- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 24, 2016

After weeks of dividing the vote of people who don’t want to see Donald Trump at the head of the Republican ticket, the campaigns of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are officially collaborating to stop Mr. Trump.

In separate statements Sunday night, the Cruz and Kasich campaigns each said they are dividing up the remaining states with upcoming primaries, with each only campaigning vigorously in a few states and ceding the others to the other.

The statements said Mr. Cruz will try to win in Indiana while Mr. Kasich will concentrate his efforts in Oregon and New Mexico. The aim is to keep Mr. Trump from winning the needed 1,237-delegate majority and forcing a contested convention in Cleveland in July.

In the Cruz statement, campaign manager Jeff Roe called a Trump nomination “a sure disaster” in November.

“To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico,” Mr. Roe said.

In a separate statement, Kasich chief strategist John Weaver said that “given the current dynamics of the primary [in Indiana], we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana.”

Mr. Trump responded by tweeting: “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!”

He added: “Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!”

Tuesday sees votes in five Northeastern states that Mr. Trump is expected to sweep, in part due to Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz splitting the “#NeverTrump” vote. Indiana votes on May 3, and Oregon two weeks later on May 17.

New Mexico votes June 7, along with four other states in the last round of the presidential primaries including the high-stakes California and New Jersey votes.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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